Grim Reaper: End of Days

( 46 )

Overview

Patrick “Shep” Shepherd was a promising major league rookie pitcher on September 11th, 2001.  Shaken by the attacks, Shep was driven to enlist in the armed forces even if that meant leaving behind his soul mate and their newborn daughter.  Eleven years and four deployments later, Shep finds himself in Manhattan’s VA hospital.  His left arm is gone, his wife and daughter are gone, and he is haunted by the nightmares of war.

With world leaders meeting at the U.N., ...

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Overview

Patrick “Shep” Shepherd was a promising major league rookie pitcher on September 11th, 2001.  Shaken by the attacks, Shep was driven to enlist in the armed forces even if that meant leaving behind his soul mate and their newborn daughter.  Eleven years and four deployments later, Shep finds himself in Manhattan’s VA hospital.  His left arm is gone, his wife and daughter are gone, and he is haunted by the nightmares of war.

With world leaders meeting at the U.N., Mary Klipot, a biohazard level-4 scientist, sees an opportunity to carry out God’s work.  She injects herself with Scythe, a swift-acting version of the Black Death, and diligently spreads the infection throughout Manhattan.  The threat of a worldwide pandemic forces officials to seal off the island…leaving the president of the U.S.—and Shep’s family—trapped.

Determined to rescue his wife and child, Shep searches  through the plague-infested neighborhoods of Manhattan.  And the Grim Reaper follows…

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Veteran Alten takes on a modern-day retelling of Dante's Inferno through the lens of a frighteningly all-too-possible biological attack on a densely populated American city."

Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly
At the start of Alten's new apocalyptic series, a plan to infect the Iranian delegation at the UN with a weaponized bubonic plague called Scythe goes awry, unleashing the plague on Manhattan. Manhattanite Patrick Shepherd, a crippled vet, is quickly tapped by the Secretary of Defense as the new poster boy for the military. Though reluctant at first, he discovers that a Scythe vaccine exists; with his estranged wife and daughter trapped in Manhattan, he begins a desperate journey through the dying metropolis to save them, along the way picking up the reluctant hero's requisite companions and going through the expected spiritual awakening by having to confront disturbing truths about reality, divinity, and the human race's capacity to self-destruct. Veteran Alten takes on a modern-day retelling of Dante's Inferno through the lens of a frighteningly all-too-possible biological attack on a densely populated American city. But terrifying plausibility is quickly muddled by ham-fisted allusions to Inferno, extreme leftwing conspiracy theories, vague spirituality, and enough blood to flood the Hudson. By the implausible end, readers will wonder how they went from genuinely scared to amusingly confused.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Tribune-Democrat - Chip Minemyer
“Readers will connect on many levels with Steve Alten's Grim Reaper–an apocalyptic tale of a world hurtling toward a horrifying but believable doom, and a moving commentary on the centuries-old struggle within the very souls of men.”
Michigan City News-Dispatch - Andrew Jackson
“Steve Alten has become a master of non-stop thrill rides in uncomfortably real settings. With 'Grim Reaper: End of Days,' his chilling descriptions of biological warfare recall the terrifying accounts in Richard Preston's ‘The Hot Zone.’”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765367075
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 8/30/2011
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 672
  • Sales rank: 406,088
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Alten is the best-selling author of the Meg series, including Meg: Hell’s Aquarium. A native of Philadelphia, he earned a Bachelor’s degree from Penn State, a Masters from the University of Delaware, and a Doctorate from Temple University. He is the founder and director of Adopt-An-Author, a free nationwide teen reading program used in thousands of secondary school classrooms across the country to excite reluctant readers.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 46 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 4, 2010

    Steve Alten at his absolute best.

    I started reading Steve Alten because of his exceptional storytelling and his edge-of-your-bed thrillers. This book eclipses pretty much everything he's done thus far. Using a word like "epic" is so cliché but I really can't think of another synonym to describe this book. Hell, even calling it a mere book seems insulting. When you read it you'll understand. There are authors out there who are known for their impeccable research; Dan Brown, Eric Jerome Dickey, James Rollins, and Conn Iggulden. Welcome Steve Alten into that fraternity. But enough butt kissing and brown nosing. on to the book.
    'Grim Reaper' is epic. (god, I hate when people say that). I get nervous reviewing books like this because it's like asking a third grader to explain the law of gravitation as it relates to Mars. (Here goes.) I'm a sucker for end-of-the-word stories and writers who know how to tell a story. 'Grim Reaper' combines them both. This is a very *complicated* novel. Not complicated-hard but complicated-scope/detail. For starters Dante's 'Inferno' is used as base for the story and we all know what a mind screw THAT book was. Good, yes but not something that I would read before bedtime. Scythe is a plague. But to call it just that would do injustice to the word plague. Scythe is a world clearing biological weapon of such malice, it would make Noah shiver. Of course it's not 100% Earth-natural. Of course it has been manufactured by man. Of course you have governments that financed this and (yep) want to use this! Of course you have some lone nutcase who thinks is their duty to jumpstart Armageddon. Take all of that stick into the Steve Alten Mix-o-matic 2010 and you get this.
    What really would happen if humanity was struck with an unstoppable plague? What if this plague was contained on an island? What if you could eradicate said island. Would you do it? What is an OK amount of people to kill (murder) in order to save six billion? Does God factor into this? Would he "stand by" and let man create his own Armageddon or step in to keep with scripture and wait for the appointed time to unleash his? OR. are they one in the same? The answers to those questions are not in this book, they're inside you. They're also inside the characters in this book. We get to observe the pain and unimaginable suffering they must witness (and in some cases, cause).
    This will not be one of the best books you will read this year. This will be one of the best books you will read, period. Cliché? Perhaps. Laying it on thick? Not a chance. The longer I sit here and type the worse justice I feel I'm doing to this book because it's magnificent on pretty much every scale and trying to convey that is daunting at best. For Steve Alten fans I don't need to mention how flawless his writing and pace is. For those who don't know, you do now. The development of the characters is a gem and you find that your emotions change with them. Your breathing matches theirs, your skin prickles with theirs, you dread the same fears, and you wonder if men can truly be this evil.
    Steve also shows us a very unique side to the 'Grim Reaper'. I've never seen. it. portrayed in such a way. The presence of the 'Grim Reaper is the blood that gives life to this horrific end-of-times tale. Yeah I know.the Grim Reaper bringing life, Jason you've gone mad. Not mad, just in awe.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2011

    Not so veiled political agenda.

    I am a big fan of Steve Alten's Meg series and the Resurrection series. I almost did not finish this book because I was perturbed by his political proselytizing that was needless to what would have been an otherwise good story. Perusing the other reviews, I too must agree that a definite leftist agenda is evident. Was the purpose of this book to tell us how much he hated President Bush, V.P. Cheney, and Donald Rumsfield? In short, he ruined what otherwise is a good story by foisting his political persuasion upon his readers.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    Perplexed and dissappointed

    I have been a fan of Steve Alten's work. This book, is something completely different. It starts off like a thriller/action adventure novel then moves into the supernatural realm, pressing heavily on a far left political agenda.

    If I didn't have a personal rule of always finishing a book once I start to read it I would have stopped somewhere after the first half of the book. As a read the book I kept asking myself 'why did he write this?' and "what does he plan to accomplish?".

    I have never been as perplexed and disappointed in a book as I was with The Grim Reaper. Sorry, Steve, I was one of your biggest fans.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2011

    Borrow it before buying it.

    After reading and enjoying most of this author's other books (the Meg series), I was looking forward to this one, thinking he was branching out in a different direction with a new topic. Unfortunately I was correct. The religious dogma & 9/11 truther sub-plots greatly diminished this story as they were much more of a distraction than an enhancement.

    I would still recommend the Meg series (especially to anyone who liked Jaws), but cannot recommend buying this book until you borrow it to see if you like it (so you don't waste your money if you don't).

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    twenty-first century take on the fourteenth century classic

    At the top secret bio warfare lab at Fort Detrick, microbiologist Mary Klipot develops a more powerful derivative of the Black Plague. She hears a voice in her head who she believes is God. Following the commandments of her God, Mary deploys her creation Scythe on the modern day Sodom and Gomorrah, Manhattan to launch the End of Days. At the same time Mary launches her death elixir. World leaders including the American president meet at the United Nations. Her attack is devastating forcing the Federal government to quarantine Manhattan, incarcerating over three million people on the doomed island including those at the U.N. demanding release under diplomatic immunity.

    When 9/11 occurred, Patrick "Shep" Shepherd quit Major league baseball to join the military. He deployed four times over the subsequent years, but now just over eleven years since the Towers were destroyed and thousands died, he has no family, no left arm, and allegorically no life as he suffers from PTSD at a Manhattan VA hospital. He not only learns of mad Mary's mass murderous scheme, he plans to obtain the vaccine to inoculate his estranged wife and daughter. Shep and his therapist Virgil Shechinah march through plague ravaged "Nine Circles of Hell" of what was just yesterday Manhattan.

    Combining the Kabbalah and 9/11 conspiratorial beliefs with a strange love of bio chemical weaponry inside a modern day version of Dante's Divine Comedy, Steve Alten writes an intriguing convoluted twisting thriller. Shep and Virgil are heroic on a mission of goodness to travel through a Manhattan turned into the inferno as they learn that to reach Heaven they must confront sin. Although some of the "cantos" are difficult to comprehend as the Kabbalah and 9/11 paranoia remain mystical, fans will enjoy Mr. Alten's twenty-first century take on the fourteenth century classic.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    Terrible. Very disappointed.

    I normally enjoy Steve Alten. When I saw this book, I was excited to read about it. It was horrible. Not only did I have to force myself to continue reading, but it was nothing more than an outlet for Mr. Alten to bash all Christianity, Bush & Cheney and the military. One character gets waterboarded, he blames Cheney at least 4 or 5 times in the book for all the ills currently in the world and then proceeds to call all Christians sheep that can't think for themselves. It was ridiculous. I understand everyone has the right to express their own opinion but this just dragged on unceasingly and made the book dull and preachy. It turned a book that could have been fantastic (genetically altered bubonic plague let loose in the middle of Manhatten) into something that was beyond ridiculous and completely not worth the time and energy.

    If I could give this zero stars I would. I do not, under any circumstances, recommend this book. Save your money. If you're even a little compelled to read it, see if you can borrow it from the library so you don't feel cheated.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2011

    Very disappointed

    Starts off great...then turns into a Liberal's rant against religion, armed forces, george bush, and even throws in support for the 9/11 conspiracies. I just wanted to read a good apocalypse story...not get lectured.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2011

    Jewel

    I loved this book, I am a fan of this gender, it had everything so creepy good, looking forward to the next one, I just enjoyed it, didnt examine the authors political motivation, and hey, hes writing it, he can write what.he wants, also, Its fiction people!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2011

    Recommended-with reservations

    This is an excellent page turner, with good plot and character development. The story moves quickly and is well written.
    My reservation with this book is the authors' obsession with conspiracy theories and "Facts" about 9/11 and the Bush whitehouse in general. Tossing this stuff in every chance he gets becomes boring and overbearing, spewing political propaganda instead of a good fictional End of Days read.
    If you are a flaming liberal, you may love it; if you aren't you may not be buying the sequel. I wont.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Absolutely Brilliant

    This was my first Steve Alten book and I am thrilled to read the next book in this series. It was intricate and full of so many almost factual ideas (essentially all the conspiracies you know are true, but can't quite bring yourself to believe them) that it is all incredibly believable. The biological warfare paired with the supernatural realm that mimicked Dante's Inferno (purposely) made it that much better. It was truly amazing and I read it too quickly. I didn't realize that it is going to be a series. This is one that I will be able to read over and over again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2011

    A really powerful read. The God stuffs weird. But even I belevied for a bit

    This adventure was an Awesome read. I loved it and at the same time, I truly believed its not a all together fictional story. Which kinda makes it FACT in certain parts of the story. It kinda scared me more than i liked to be scared while relaxing and chillin with a fun book. Its very accurate of the things going in the world. The way our government acts is very true in the way it is portrayed in this book. The other part about God kinda brought me outta of it but I'm more scared of the US Government than i am of God.( no offense)..Mr Steve, I really like the Megs and other Creatures. Could we please have another soon. Love You Sir....:)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2014

    Based on Dantes Ingerno (?)

    First of a trilogy.? Did you get distracted Steve?...finish it,we are waiting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    Not Alten's Best

    I'm generally a big fan of Alten's works, but this was a rather disappointing read for me personally. I don't usually enjoy apocalyptic novels like this. I read it to see if I would enjoy it, but was simply too depressing, too consumate in the destruction of humanity, for me to enjoy it. So, if you're like me on this issue, you may not want to read all of it or any of it at all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2013

    Edge of your seat!

    I could not put this book down. Great suspense and good characters. Another great book by steve alten!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2012

    Wow

    Absolutely incredible book. A must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2011

    Nookbook

    Great book cant wait for the next one

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  • Posted August 1, 2011

    Touching

    Whoa. The things people think but do not or will not say. Sometimes out of kindness. Sometimes out of guilt. This is a sweet, compassionate man, a good writer and raconteuse. He feels very deeply about what he has to say, he is very pro religion and very patriotic. A bit too dogmatic in the gender reference, but oh well, perfection can be boring too. This book will make you think. I can completely understand how people who despise thinking would despise this book. Too those people who seem to take offence....... Does your conscience bother you?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2011

    Recommended

    worth reading

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2011

    Outstanding

    I can't wait for the next one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2011

    well done mr. alten

    if you have read any of his outhers you will like this one as well, it has a little bit of evry thing in it.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews

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